Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Costa Rica 2 - Panama 2

The Canaleros of Panama played host to neighbors and 2013 Copa Centroamericana champions Costa Rica in Panama City.  Panama looked very much like they would make their home field advantage translate into three points with a very dominant opening thirty minutes.  Panama's opener was set up off a throw-in that took advantage of a Ticos backline that was too bunched together.  Armando Cooper put a pass across the box, and Luis Henriquez took one touch back toward Cooper, leaving his defenders wrong-footed as he slotted home for 1-0 to Panama.  The lead was doubled just over ten minutes later when Marcos Sanchez made a remarkable individual play with his fancy double spin move dribble to free himself for a cross that he unleashed into the grateful knee of his teammate Roman Torres, who knocked the ball into the net with said knee.  With five minutes left in the first period, a Ticos corner was played short to the left boot of Christopher Meneses, who then struck a beautiful cross that found the head of striker Alvaro Saborio, who finished into the side netting from thirteen yards.  Panama led by that 2-1 scoreline at the break.

Costa Rica looked the much better side in the second forty-five minutes.  It took a brave charging body save from Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo to prevent the equalizer early in the half.  Not to be outdone, Ticos goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton made an even braver charging body save on the other side of the pitch, getting the wind knocked out of him in the process.  With six minutes remaining in regulation, an attempted pass played behind Costa Rica forward Bryan Ruiz (pictured, white) allowed him to achieve a moment of brilliance.  Ruiz turned and fell to his back doing a bicycle kick from the penalty spot that hit the inside of the far post and stayed in the goal for a spectacular equalizer.  Panama were unable to regain their lead, so Costa Rica leave town with a valuable road point after a 1-1 draw.

Luis Henriquez 16
Roman Torres 27

Costa Rica
Alvaro Saborio 40
Bryan Ruiz 84

Match Reports:,b49e705fad2bc310VgnVCM20000099cceb0aRCRD.html


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